School news from Marion County Public Schools
The first day of school always brings excitement back to classrooms. Excitement in students attending a new school, a new school level or even school for the very first time.
While this excitement builds, thousands of people, including 3,000 teachers, are preparing textbooks, student desks, art supplies, computer keyboards, wall calendars, lesson plans and countless other things to start off the new school year smoothly.
Here are some things to remember for the 2019-2020 school year in Marion County Public Schools.
These special events offer students, parents and families a valuable opportunity to visit their school campus before the year begins.
Students can obtain class schedules, bus route and stop details, breakfast/lunch menus and other valuable information. They also meet teachers face to face, interact with school administrators and learn the school layout and where important areas are—restrooms, cafeteria, gymnasium, etc.—before the first bell rings.
Most orientations take place August 8-10, and times vary. Contact your child’s school for specific details or visit www.marionschools.net for the latest listing.
Providing a safe and secure environment is the top priority of the school system. The district takes measures to ensure students and staff are prepared in the event of a crisis situation. The district has a comprehensive crisis management plan that includes locked classroom doors at all times, ALICE Protocol for active shooters, fire drills, tornado drills, code red and code yellow lockdowns, and other safety measures.
CODE YELLOW—All school doors are locked and regular classroom instruction continues.
CODE RED—All doors are locked and all students and staff move away from doors and windows. All campus movement and classroom instruction stops.
Families should consider the following for CODE YELLOW and CODE RED situations:
–DO expect to be notified in a timely manner with a special advisory sent from the school and/or a telephone message from our Skylert system. This will NOT happen instantly. When the school is able to provide accurate information and/or the incident is resolved, this notification will take place.
–DO cooperate with school and/or district directives.
–DO consult local media and Twitter for regular updates about the incident. You may be directed to an off-campus reunification site to retrieve your child.
–DO NOT call the school because phone lines are needed for emergency use and may not be answered.
–DO NOT go to the school. Roads are closed, doors are locked and campuses are locked down to anyone except law enforcement, first responders and authorized personnel.
The latest safety measures include fencing campuses to a single point of entry. High school campuses are now complete and this safety process moves to middle and elementary school campuses.
Additional security cameras are also being installed throughout the district, and a new police department designation puts more trained security personnel on duty, in addition to School Resource Officers (SROs) already on site every single student day.
Communication channels you can use:
-Skylert notification system
-School Twitter accounts
-Family Access (via Skyward)
-Peachjar (e-flyer service)
-FortifyFL mobile app
-Txt-A-Tip Hotline 352.877.2838
Most importantly, Marion County has no failing schools. The district improved its overall grade by 26 points and continues as a “B” school district. School grades improved dramatically. Twenty-one schools increased their grades, including three schools that jumped two letter grades (Belleview-Santos, Fessenden and Reddick-Collier Elementary Schools). Another 29 schools maintained their current grade.
This year, Marion schools earned:
4 “A” grades (3 last year)
15 “B” grades (9)
30 “C” grades (26)
2 “D” grades (11), and
0 “F” grades (3)
Schools receive additional funding from the state for maintaining an “A” grade or improving from year to year.
The State of Florida requires immunizations for all students attending public schools. Exemptions are available for medical and religious reasons; however, for the safety of all students, our district encourages all students to obtain all required immunizations. Entry requirements are available from the Florida Department of Health in Marion County.
Incoming seventh graders must also receive a booster immunization before they can attend the first day of class. State law requires any student without proof of immunization be prohibited from attending, and while last year’s number of 178 students was lower than previous years, the goal is to have all students attending on the first day of school.
The district’s “Community Reads!” initiative offers parents and families additional resources to help their elementary students after the regular school day ends. Simply visit www.marionschools.net and “Look for the Book” to connect to this treasure trove of fun ideas, activities, conversation starters and much more. This award-winning initiative provides new valuable literacy resources every month with custom videos, activity sheets, family fun calendar events and much more.
Dates to Remember
August 12 First Day of School
September 25 Early Release
October 14-15 No School
October 24 Safe Halloween Event
October 30 Early Release
November 25-29 No School
December 11 Early Release
December 20 – Jan. 6 No School
January 7 Classes Resume
January 20 No School
January 22 Early Release
February 17 No School
February 26 Early Release
March 16-23 No School
March 24 Classes Resume
April 15 Early Release
May 28 Last Day of School